Biodiverse and inclusive garden set for Sandwell Hospital

Image credit: Louise Worrall

Buzz Stop, a biodiverse and inclusive garden created by Spectra is opening outside Sandwell General Hospital.

Centred around the senses and accessibility, Buzz Stop follows the lifecycle of a butterfly, creating a space for rest, reflection and connecting with nature.

Buzz Stop is a sensory garden designed to encourage everyone to interact with and explore the space in a unique and curious way.

Spectra is a neurodiverse arts company based in Sandwell, founded on the principles of fierce and joyful interaction, authentic collaboration and adventure.

The garden has been designed and built through the co-creation of a diverse team of artists, designers and horticulturists. Hayley Guest, Creative Lead for Spectra said:

“We are so looking forward to opening the Buzz Stop garden at Sandwell General Hospital. We've had many conversations with members of the community, as well as staff and patients at the hospital, who have not only contributed to the final garden design, but are also excited about the prospect of a garden popping up where you least expect it!

"We're very grateful for all the fantastic support we've received from the community, our funders and Sandwell General Hospital in building Buzz Stop, which will be a little haven of nature; a beautiful rest spot for people and wildlife.”

Buzz Stop is part of an ongoing collaboration with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, and visitors to the garden will be able to contribute their ideas on the impact of arts and culture to form a manifesto for Midland Metropolitan University Hospital. Amy Campbell, Senior Arts Manager for Midland Metropolitan University Hospital added:

“We are really pleased to be working with Spectra again after the success of last year’s Abundance garden at City Hospital as part of the Birmingham 2022 cultural festival. We recognise that artists help to make the important link between creativity and living well and are grateful to Arts Council England and WMCA Green Grants for supporting this project.

"As a small park, sometimes known as a pocket park outside the main entrance to Sandwell General Hospital, ‘Buzz Stop’ will be the perfect place for patients, visitors and staff to find stillness in their busy lives and will hopefully shine a light on the important relationship between nature, health and wellbeing."

Spectra is committed to creating biodiverse and accessible spaces and the project received a Community Green Grant from West Midlands Combined Authority.

Buzz Stop will be an island of wildlife-friendly plants, a treat for the senses; of insects and humans!

Visitors will be able to explore a wealth of colour, textures, smells and sounds found within a previously unloved patch of grass. The interactive garden will be open from 20th July outside Sandwell General Hospital, Hallam Street, B71 4HJ, with workshops happening throughout July and August.

Additionally, there is an inside installation beside the cafeteria which will be open until September. Buzz Stop has been designed to be wheelchair accessible and will have audio descriptions and translations throughout the space.

Spectra is grateful for the funding and support from Arts Council England, Your Trust Charity, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, West Midlands Combined Authority and Heart of England Community Foundation which has made this project possible.


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